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educationtoday

June 24, 2011
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Educationtoday turns 2  tomorrow, 25 June 2011. How did that happen? With close to 800 content items, including over 100 blogposts, we’re feeling a bit nostalgic, excited and grateful, as many of us feel on birthdays and anniversaries. We could not have done this without you – our wider education community – not to mention the wider community of social media and online collaboration leaders who have helped us along the way!

So what have we done over the past two years? And what was the impact?

 

To answer these questions, we carried out an evaluation of educationtoday earlier this year. The evaluation drew on interviews with OECD staff, twitter followers, education journalists and many others and took a hard look at the quantitative data (numbers of views, comments, tweets, tweetreach, etc.). This process has been as useful as the results (it gave us an excuse to talk to key stakeholders and listen to their feedback!). The final evaluation report is now available.

 

So how well did we do? We reached some of our goals, and fell short of others, but educationtoday is now recognized as a reliable clearinghouse on education and the crisis. Here are some of the numbers:

  • Educationtoday hosts more than 650 documents relevant to education and more than 100 blog posts by education leaders and OECD staff.
  • To date, we’ve had 135,000 visitors from 192 countries.
  • 12 Twitter followers grew to 4,600 followers in just two years.
  • More than 30 “wiki crisis” pages outline how the crisis has affected countries’ education systems.
  • The “Raise Your Hand” online tool to vote for the top five ideas in education garnered 27,000 votes from 92 countries and over 300 original ideas.
  • Our most popular blog raised important issues about new technology in the classroom.

And these are just the highlights.

 

Jessica Weddle, an OECD consultant who worked on building educationtoday’s presence in the education community since its humble beginnings, commented on the progress:

 

“Our online tools made OECD research on education policy more accessible, accountable, and responsive to people concerned about education. After the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment PISA results were released, the tweet traffic allowed us to quickly see which data areas generated the most interest. We enjoy participating in the online conversation about education around the world, and it’s great to see how far we’ve come.”

 

But evaluation is rare in social media – as we are all trying to figure out how to balance qualitative data with quantitative data. Which numbers do you look at? What does it mean if you have a fair amount of views, but not many comments? Does more mean more – as in more twitter followers – or does less mean more – with fewer, high quality comments? Is there a balance in the middle?

 

So during the evaluation process, we brought together social media experts from both sides of the Atlantic for a collaborative brainstorm about what makes social media sites successful (or not). In the spirit of sharing and being social, we’ve provided the highlights of what we’ve learned (a lot!).  See the

Social media tips for peers.

 

Before we blow out the candles, what is your wish for educationtoday for 2011-12? What would you love to see more of going forward? More blogs, discussions, articles? Less? Let us know!

 

And be sure to follow us on Twitter @OECD_Edu. See you there!

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